Debunking Corporate Moral Responsibility

Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (4):531-562 (2003)
Abstract
I address three topics. First, I argue that the issue of corporate moral responsibility is an important one for business ethics.Second, I examine a core argument for the claim that the corporate organization is a separate moral agent and show it is based on anunnoticed but elementary mistake deriving from the fallacy of division. Third, I examine the assumptions collectivists make about whatit means to say that organizations act and that they act intentionally and show that these assumptions are mistaken in their failure to understand the nature of intentional causality and of “as-if” intentionality. In exposing these mistakes I set out my own view in the form oftwo theses, the first of which states that individual members of an organization are always causally responsible for any corporate act,and the second of which states that attributions of intentions to corporations are always either descriptive or prescriptive attributionsof “as if” intentionality
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X  
DOI 10.5840/beq200313436
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References found in this work BETA
Intrinsic Intentionality.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):450.
What Psychological States Are Not.Ned Block & Jerry A. Fodor - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (April):159-81.
Corporate Moral Responsibility.Michael J. Phillips - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (3):555-576.
The Ontological and Moral Status of Organizations.Christopher McMahon - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (3):541-554.

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Citations of this work BETA
Corporate Character, Corporate Virtues.Geoff Moore - 2015 - Business Ethics: A European Review 24 (S2):99-114.
Socially Extended Knowledge.Jennifer Lackey - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):282-298.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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